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F. O. Matthiessen

AKA Francis Otto Matthiessen

Born: 19-Feb-1902
Birthplace: Pasadena, CA
Died: 1-Apr-1950
Location of death: Boston, MA
Cause of death: Suicide [1]

Gender: Male
Religion: Christian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Gay [2]
Occupation: Critic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: American Renaissance

Military service: Canadian Air Force (WWI)


[1] Leapt from a window, most certainly a suicide.

[2] American Culture's Debt to Gay Sons of Harvard (Dinitia Smith, The New York Times, 29th May 2003.) See also The Crimson Letter: Harvard, Homosexuality and the Shaping of American Culture (2003), by Douglass Shand-Tucci.

Father: William Frederick Matthiessen
Mother: Lucy Orne
Boyfriend: Russell Cheney (painter, cohabited, dated 1923 until d. 1945)

    University: BA, Yale University (1919-23, honors)
    University: B Litt, Oxford University (1925)
    University: MA, Harvard University (1926)
    University: PhD, Harvard University (1927)

    Rhodes Scholarship
    Skull and Bones Society
    Nervous Breakdown 1938/39 (hospitalized)

Author of books:
Sarah Orne Jewett (1929)
Translation: An Elizabethan Art (1931)
The Achievements of T. S. Eliot (1935)
American Renaissance: Art and Expression in the Age of Emerson and Whitman (1941)
Henry James (1944)
The James Family (1947)
Russell Cheney, 1881-1945: A Record of His Work (1947)
Theodore Dreiser (1951)
The Responsibilities of the Critic (1952)


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